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Fort Washington Park, MARYLAND
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Surrounded by nature

Oaka Ridge Campground is deep at "end" of Prince William Forest (13 miles from forest entrance gate). 

There are three loops, front to back. Loop A are walkin only sites for RVs and tents. Loops B and C reservable. Loop B sites are for large families or groups. Loop C is more remote. Each loop has a bathroom building, Loop B is the only one with showers. There are no hookups in the campground, but drinking water is available near each bathhouse. Loop C had a working utility sink, the one in Loop B was closed. Not sure if A had one.

Free firewood is available behind the host's site.

We were in Loop C and could hear activity at Quantico. Lots of air noise too, from both airplanes and helicopters. We stayed 5 days, including a weekend. Saturday was the noisiest day with all the group camping activities. 

Sites varied greatly in size. Some seemed entirely too close, others spread apart. At times, sites seemed backwards - I kept saying they should reverse the one way direction so back in sites were easier. 

Ticks were really bad. We killed dozens and ended up taking at least one with us when we left.

The showers were hot, water pressure and shower heads good. Shower stalls offered more privacy than most, each having a locking door and small dressing area with a bench, and an adequate sized shower curtain, too.

Bathrooms could have been much cleaner. 

Only because of the ticks, we would not stay here again. We had Deep Woods Off, but seemed to do no good.

Hiking Lovers Retreat

Oak Ridge is our favorite local go-to campground.  This site meets all of our expectations with exceptionally clean bathrooms to boot.  It a short jaunt away with miles of hiking trails.  The sites are generously sized, wooded and private.  If you're going with a group there are also sites that connect.  C Loop is the most private with several sites being walk-in.  B Loop is mostly shaded and also the only loop with showers (my preference).  A Loop is first to come, first served whereas Loops B and C are reservation only. Firewood is available but they do not provide much so I recommend bringing what you need if you plan on having a fire for more than one night.  There are a few trailheads accessible from the camping loops but many you'll need to drive to.  Parking is limited but I've never had trouble finding a spot.  If you want a quick getaway without driving hours outside of the metro area this is your place!

First to Review
Secluded and comfortable

Overview: we really enjoyed this private farm campground. We stayed at site 1 of two sites. Per their policies each sure can accommodate 12 campers. The fire pit area and port-a-potty were both very clean and you can tell that they are taken care of well. You are able to drive right up to the camp area and we kept our car right next to our tent. There are nearby chickens, geese and pigs. 

Host: our friends arrived prior to us and were greeted by the host. They said he was friendly and explained everything well and even had firewood already set up at the store that has been purchased by the previous campers. I thought this was incredibly nice considering they didn't have to leave the wood there for us.

Site: the sites are both grassy, level and well maintained. Both are easy to get to, although I wouldn't recommend attempting to drive to either in a small car. Site 1 is closer to the house, animals, potty and other buildings on the property. The fire pit area is clean and is surrounded by trees. Site 2 is more isolated but is still pretty close in distance to the animals, home and structures. However it is separated by a line of trees and you are camping more in a field.  We choose site 1 die to its proximity to the bathroom and picnic tables because we were camping with small kids. 

Bathroom: the bathroom is a port-a-potty and was cleaned right before our arrival. Several reviews I read mentioned that it was the cleanest port-a-potty they had ever seen and they were correct. It is surrounded by a privacy fence which was nice. It was relatively close to the site and was stocked with plenty of toilet paper and included hand sanitizer.

PROS: 

 Secluded

 You have the entire site to yourself

 Two options for camping with bathroom nearby

 Nice hiking trails with varying lengths, easy to hike even for a 3 year old

CONS:

 If you are a light sleeper the geese, rooster or planes may keep you awake

 We did find a snake skin, but you are out in nature

 The structures didn't give the best view, but you can always choose to face away from them or use site 2

Would definitely stay here again.

Woods and City

We stayed here for 3 nights at a back in with w/e. We enjoyed sitting around the campfire at night and walking the dogs down to the water. We were right next to a hiking trail that went down to the water and a beach area. We were working in Arlington/DC only a 25 min drive away and it was nice to come home to some nature.

Great Campground

This is our second time to this campground and our first in a new RV. Campground is very close to the Baltimore beltway and basically in a neighborhood but you feel like you are farther from things. Bathroom is clean and camp hosts are very friendly. Campsites are fairly close together but not right on top of each other. Lots of good hiking trails can be accessed from the campsite as well as a nice playground for the kids. One drawback is that the spot to check in is a little tricky to find and not very well marked. Overall we had a great visit and will be back.

Great Fall Destination

We camped here with a group of families in the fall. The drive into the park was beautiful and made us feel we were many miles away from civilization even though we weren’t. The camp sites are spread out nicely with clean facilities. The bathrooms were particularly well heated! We almost didn’t want to leave after brushing our teeth. We loved our fall visit when the forest was the spectrum of reds, oranges and browns.

Great campsite

This site is right along the Potomac River. The water pump connects with a well, and is treated with iodine. Plenty of space for tents, and has a fire ring. Trailside for easy access.

Offers a great variety

Patapsco Valley offers 6 different entrances. Each one provides a several different trail heads and experiences. For camping or just spending a day out on the trail with the kids we prefer the Hilton entrance. There are two huge playgrounds and a youth campground as well as a family campground. The trails we have been on are all pretty moderate to hard but offer beautiful waterfalls and river views. This definitely is a park that takes a while to explore all of it. It cannot be done in a day. Which is nice. It's close enough to home that we can visit often and not get bored.

Great Family Spot!

Brought our 5 and 7 year old kids here on a Dad’s weekend. Camping sites are standard and well spaced out. Bathroom facilities were very clean and I’d say even better maintained than most. Kids love this place because of the other activities like laser tag and the cart track. I wondered why a camp site needs these things and the fact is they don’t. But when I ask which camp site my kids had the most fun at, they said Little Bennet because of the activities. We prefer hiking as a family and staying away from crowds and this camp site wasn’t crowded or felt busy. It’s a quick drive from NOVA but just far enough where you feel away from it all.

I don’t think they need to show movies at night. Live music or something more interactive like a bon fire would help elevate the experience.

Great way to get kids into camping

The Hilton entrance of Patapsco Valley Park is perfect for keeping the kids entertained. There is a huge playground, sensory trail and nature discovery center at the entrance to the park. The nature center was closed when we visited, but the kids still enjoyed the sensory trail and playground. It's the perfect little getaway from the city for camping, fishing and hiking. Be aware that neither the hiking trails or playground are stroller friendly.

Great day trip

My family and I have been coming to Sandy Point my entire life. It is a great little spot on the Chesapeake river. Our favorite thing to do is to fossil hunt for sharks teeth. In the summer it can get pretty crowded, so we prefer to visit in late spring while school is still in session. August is the worst month to visit if you like the water. Jellyfish take over with a vengeance!

Very historic site from 1814

This is where the British first landed for their march on Baltimore. Once landed, their fleet moved up into the harbor, to attack Fort McHenry. They also moved by water to Washington DC, to burn it.

As their army (almost 9000 strong) moved north toward Baltimore on North Point Rd., they contacted the local militia under John Stricker, (Brigadier General John Stricker (1758–1825). His troops used the heavy woods and brush to ambush and decimate their opposition at the battle of North Point. Most of the 9000 troops never made it to Baltimore, and as we all know from the Star Spangled Banner, Fort McHenry held the fleet.

North Point State Park was where it all started. The park is a great place to spend the day, and is very kid friendly. I wish I could say there were guides to give you a history tour, but you need to research that on your own. Picnics and fishing, with a nice play ground, top it off. You can also see the remnants of Old Bay Shore Park, one of the early 20th century play grounds for the well-to-do. It’s a great place to enjoy the quiet and natural setting of the Chesapeake Bay.

Clean and convenient

This KOA is clean and convenient to the historic sites in the Fredericksburg, VA area and is close to DC. I totally recommend!

Great park, easy hike.

Come prepared with all essentials

Great Place to stay

This was a great place to stay! Close t9 everything D.C. has to offer while being far enough away to be in the woods. We went during the fall, but the summer woukd be an ideal time to go so you can enjoy the water park and bay.

Rustic at its best

Very primitive, tent only camping. Nothing near it and very private. An awesome place to relax!

Great Kayaking

Roland Lake in Baltimore County is a great place to kayak on the Patapsco River. Tons of wildlife, facilities, and amenities for you and your family. The park was clean and it had knowledgable staff.

Fantastic

I go here annually. It is a very nice walk about 2 miles to the beach where you can hunt for fossils. The beach has gotten smaller over the years however the trail has gotten much better. The trail now is very well marked, clean, and there are facilities down by the beach to use. They do have a nice park for the kids by the entrance and a very well kept pond at the beginning of the hike to fish from. Highly recommend this trail/park.

amazing place

I absolutely love this campground. The sites are pretty secluded, which is nice if you want to actually feel like you're out in nature.

The state park is located right on the potomac river, which is pretty cool. The best part is that you can actually find sharks teeth on the beaches here. When it rains, the teeth get washed out of the cliff (since this whole area used to be covered in ocean). My family has always loved coming here to look for sharks teeth on Fossil Beach.

The place also has great trails for walking, running, or hiking.

If you want to get away from the camp ground, the area is pretty cool to explore as well. George Washington's birthplace is near Westmoreland, so history buffs can find plenty to do.

Great campground!

Awesome campout trip

We decided to have a guys weekend so my uncle, cousin, and I decided to head out to Rappahannock. We had an awesome sized campsite (I believe it was #9), and we had a blast.

Patapsco valley state park

This park has a wide range of activities for kids. The hike I did was not very long but was well worth it. The trail was well marked but there was some confusion at one point on where we were suppose to go. Luckily I had an app that kept me on trail. There are some pretty cool Bridges, old houses, and a water fall. I recommend this to any beginner hikers.

A Quiet Corner in a Busy Metro Area

The Oak Ridge campgrounds at Prince William Forest Park are a lovely little campground just outside Washington DC. The sites were large, the facilities are clean and the staff friendly and helpful.

We stayed the last weekend in September for a quick one night stay. We needed to get out of DC and found this spot to be the perfect ticket. There were heavy rains the whole week prior to our stay and when we got to our site (it is one of the lowest spots of B loop) was a little too wet for us (our three kids would have love it, just not us). The campground host was very accommodating and told us to pick any spot on the first come/first serve A loop. We were able to find a very nice spot and the host came to us to change the forms around.

The free firewood is nice but be sure to pick is up (next to the water tower by the entrance to the campground) when you check in so you don’t have to carry it, or make a separate trip. The wood was sitting out, so it was a little wet, but all fresh, no rot. I would recommend having a hatchet or camp knife to split the corded wood to account for the wetness.

The A loop bathroom facility was clean with a nice service sink, but no showers. The B loop facility does have showers and is also very nice (we didn’t swing through C loop so we can’t speak to those facilities).

We went cycling as a family and though did not go too far (young kids) the park is a fantastic place to ride bicycles. There is only one short hiking loop from the campground, but other trails which will take you on a longer loop. All the hiking loops are accessible via car or our choice (once the kids are old enough) bicycle.

We enjoyed our stay and will be coming back, even for a quick one night stay to break up the busy city life.

Easily accessible from freeway

The Seneca Creek State Park is convenient, peaceful, clean, and a great place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to drive far. Highly recommended!

Best in the off-season

Extremely over crowded in the summer. The park closes daily very early as it hits capacity. The best times to go are winter, spring, and fall. Lights on the Bay is a great Christmas light drive thru that's over a mile long. Great host for the polar bear plunge.

Great if you don’t want to travel far

We were at site 430. It was a perfect spot tucked away from the others and a short walk to the restrooms. You can purchase firewood from the camp hosts nearby as well. The fire pit at this site was a little difficult to cook with because the grate was very high and could not be lowered. Overall we had a great time exploring the park especially the nearby railroad track. Would visit again.

Family Camping Success

We had a great time here over a long weekend in August. The check in is a breeze and the staff is super nice and helpful. They gave us a great intro to the park as we were first timers. They informed us that they had a scavenger hunt for the kids going all weekend, they had an outdoor movie scheduled for Friday night, a campfire story time scheduled for Saturday night and crafts scheduled for Sunday morning. This was music to our ears as we camp with our 3 and 1 year old. There is also a pool/water park in the park as well as a nice network of trails. There is plenty of things to do here to keep a family occupied.

We got a site on thr inner loop and it backed to the playground and the bathhouse. The site was spacious. We are tent campers but almost all our neighbors were in an RV or trailer. The site had water and electric which was nice. The bathhouse is standard but also has laundry and an outdoor dish washing station. The campground was quiet which is nice.

This was an amazing weekend for us and we will definitely be back. There is boat rental a short walk down the trsil from the campgrounds and the pool and disc golf course are another short trail walk away.

Great Falls Proximity With Much Much More

I asked myself what was the closest location I could find to Great Falls when making a day of this area. 3 miles was about as close as I could get, and while in this area a lot can happen in 3 miles it was well worth the traffic I faced, the driving in and out of the "city" and the overall discovery of this location as it was.

Let me just start by saying I expected to find this and just go to Great Falls, but had I have known that it had so many different things around I would have probably extended my stay a bit. There was a waterpark and outdoor sports area where you could enjoy so many activities. And then there was the lake itself!! Bike trails, hiking trails and equestrian trails surround this area and I honestly could have spent so much more time just enjoying this space because of all the interesting things there were to do right in front of me.

But with all good things there is also a price point that has to match and I will say that this one is a bit steep at $28 on week days or $31 on weekends for a regular tent camper with no electricity. For those needing hook ups that extends even more so to $37 or $45 for RVs depending on length on weekday to $41 or $50 for weekends.

That really was the deal breaker for me the price. While I was there on a weekday, the following day was a weekend and that hike though not but a few dollars was hard to swallow in an already kind of expensive primitive site.

TIPS:

  • If you are a senior make sure to mention this, you get a large discount on sites when staying here.
  • Check out the marina where you can rent paddle boats and other items for water fun.
  • Take the 3 mile drive to Great Falls, it is amazing and if not there on a weekend you will have many of the trails to yourself. During weekends it is a popular spot for families with only a $10 per car price tag.
Another FREE Campsite!!!

Sometimes big reward comes to those willing to walk a little, as is the case with this one. This one is officially marked at the 16 mile mark and if you are willing to go you are rewarded by campgrounds every so many miles. There are only a few spots and it is first come first serve here but well worth it to see the nature around you!!

I didn't know what exactly to expect of this site but when I got there was so happy I tried to get here!!!

Great hiker site!! Fire ring is present and plenty of firewood. Downside the chemical toilet was pretty gross and the picnic table had seen better days.

City Camping With Country Feel

I would say this is one of those spaces that you basically are in the middle of the action without feeling it at all. In fact this entire area is remotely non-remote if that makes any sense. This campground, in the area of the Bull Run incident is one of those areas that even through you have amenities of the city you can quietly reflect on relaxing without driving far.

With that being said, the sites are between $27 and $45 depending on what you are looking for. My primitive site was $27, which was a little steep but again you are given a nice large "family" style camping space with typical amenities.

The showers in the 2 bath houses are both HOT, which was great considering how sore my muscles were from camping for weeks at this point. The restroom was in pretty decent shape but clearly well used. Something I did rely on at this campsite which I typically do not was the camp store, I picked up firewood here and had a nice campfire to relax in the evening. MUCH NEEDED.

I was pretty pleased overall with the campsite, it was not to crowded despite having a lot of other campers staying and it had great proximity to several things in the Manasas area including the battlefield which were interesting ways to spend the day. I even got to check out a live demo of the weapons including muskets and canons which made a cool experience only 5 minutes from camp.

TIPS:

  • Sunday Traffic is a bit intense because of a local church so make sure you are being careful, there are a lot of patrols in the area at this time.
  • If you forget something the camp store has just about everything from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Check out one of the over 15 trails in the area designed for hiking, biking and horseback riding. So many options depending on what you are looking for. Also… there are a lot of geocaches in the area if you enjoy that.